Canadian Club Whisky Gets First Brand Campaign In 20 Years

Fortune Brands' Beam Global Spirits & Wine is launching the first integrated brand campaign for Canadian Club Canadian Whisky in 20 years. The No. 2 Canadian whisky, celebrating its 150th anniversary next year, is getting a multi-layered national advertising campaign with the pugnacious theme "Damn Right Your Dad Drank It."

Central to the effort are sepia-toned Kodaks from the 1960s and 1970s of guys holding gals and rocks glasses of whisky cocktails made with Canadian Club. The message is that consumers' dads were cool, stylish and masculine, and so were their whisky cocktails.

At least some of the photos from the campaign were submitted by Beam Global employees who culled them from family photo albums. Also, the first ad execution, with the headline, "Your Mom Wasn't Your Dad's First," as well as several point-of-sale materials, feature vintage photos of a mid-to-late twenties Dan Tullio*, Canadian Club's current global brand ambassador.

A company spokesperson said the campaign is intended to build brand equity around the anniversary. "Canadian Club (CC) has incredible distribution, high awareness and quite a bit of latent brand equity. These are all reasons why Beam Global sees CC as a key global brand in the portfolio and has recommitted itself to investing in this brand," says the spokesperson.



The spokesperson added that the effort targets men 30-40 "who are looking for a masculine, classic cocktail, something that their dads embraced when they were cool and stylish back in the 1960s and 1970s."

Beam is supporting the campaign, launching next month, with a boost in its advertising and promotional spend. Media includes out-of-home and radio advertising, experiential elements, point-of-sale items and in-market events that will continue throughout 2008.

Other executions of "Damn Right" have headlines like "Your Dad Was Not a Metrosexual" and "Your Dad Never Got a Pedicure." Print advertisements will run in Rolling Stone, Sports Illustrated and The Sporting News, with additional placements in Playboy, Men's Journal, Esquire, Outside and Men's Fitness in December and throughout 2008. The campaign will also be featured in spirits trade publications, radio, out-of-home media buys and viral elements.

Energy BBDO led all creative design for the "Damn Right" advertisements as well as point-of-sale collateral. Canadian Club hired the agency in May to lead the brand's repositioning. New York-based Zenith media, along with sister agency Moxie Interactive out of Atlanta, coordinated all print, radio, online and out-of-home media buys.

Fortune Brands in 2005 acquired Canadian Club, along with some 20 spirits and wine brands from Pernod Ricard after Pernod Ricard acquired Allied Domecq.

Fortune's acquisition included Sauza tequila, Courvoisier cognac, Laphroaig single-malt Scotch and Clos du Bois wines.

Since the acquisition, Beam Global has focused its Canadian Club efforts on motorsports, including signing with Andretti Green Racing in the IndyCar Series as a major sponsor of the No. 27 car driven by Dario Franchitti.

* Editor's note: This story has been amended since publication.

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